World Health Day 2016: beat diabetes
The number of people living with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults, with most living in developing countries. WHO is marking World Health Day, 7 April, by calling for action on diabetes. In its first “Global report on diabetes”, WHO highlights the need to step up prevention and treatment of the disease.
In the African Region, the rate of diabetes is growing and this represents a big challenge to governments, health services, communities and individuals.
Diabetes can lead to high rates of ill health, disability and premature deaths. It has severe health complications such as blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, disability and premature death. It also has serious economic consequences which include loss of productivity and high health care costs.
World Health Day 2016: Key messages
WHO is focusing on diabetes on World Health Day because:
- The diabetes epidemic is rapidly increasing in many countries, with the documented increase most dramatic in low- and middle-income countries.
- A large proportion of diabetes cases are preventable. Simple lifestyle measures have been shown to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Maintaining normal body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Diabetes is treatable. Diabetes can be controlled and managed to prevent complications. Increasing access to diagnosis, self-management education and affordable treatment are vital components of the response.
- Efforts to prevent and treat diabetes will be important to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal 3 target of reducing premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by one-third by 2030. Many sectors of society have a role to play, including governments, employers, educators, manufacturers, civil society, private sector, the media and individuals themselves.
Goal of World Health Day 2016: Scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance
The main goals of the World Health Day 2016 campaign will be to:
- Increase awareness about the rise in diabetes, and its staggering burden and consequences, in particular in low-and middle-income countries;
- Trigger a set of specific, effective and affordable actions to tackle diabetes. These will include steps to prevent diabetes and diagnose, treat and care for people with diabetes; and
- Launch the first Global report on diabetes, which will describe the burden and consequences of diabetes and advocate for stronger health systems to ensure improved surveillance, enhanced prevention, and more effective management of diabetes.
More information on diabetes